What a way to go

Observations of a pedestrian living in downtown Charleston (35 years) of the evolving rights accorded to several modes of transportation:

Cars:

1. The right to ignore red lights (Calhoun Street and any street that intersects it).

2. The right to ignore stop signs (any street downtown).

3. The right to ignore one-way streets (Warren Street).

4. The right to ignore pedestrians in crosswalks (anywhere where there are crosswalks, including Coming Street and all intersections of Calhoun Street).

Bikes:

1. All of the above plus,

2. The right to ride on sidewalks (everywhere downtown).

Skateboards:

1. All of all of the above plus

2. Whatever else they feel like doing in the moment.

Pedestrians:

1. I cannot think of one.

Julia Cart

Warren Street

Charleston

Hard choice

Abortions performed past 20 weeks in South Carolina are not what most people think, and no woman ever wants to have one. Before the state Legislature votes to ban such abortions, I hope its members understand what they will be stopping.

As part of regular prenatal care, parents-to-be have an ultrasound around 20 weeks to check the baby's anatomy for any serious defects or complications.

It is at this time, sadly, that some women learn their babies have defects that are not compatible with life. These women are often told that their babies will not survive the pregnancy, and if they do, they are likely to be stillborn or die immediately or soon after birth.

These women are then faced with choices never imagined. Prior to 24 weeks, they are offered the choice of a "therapeutic abortion." This is the termination of a pregnancy recommended by a doctor for serious medical causes.

In South Carolina, after 18 weeks, a woman who "chooses" this option goes to a hospital where a doctor induces labor.

I have a close friend who endured such a heartbreaking and devastating event. She experienced a painful labor and her baby (at 22 weeks) was stillborn as expected.

Nurses humanely dressed her daughter in a gown and wrapped her in blankets like any newborn baby. The parents spent time holding their first child and had her baptized by a priest. My friend chose a private funeral for her daughter. But in talking with priests and counselors, they accepted that God is merciful and made the heartbreaking choice that they felt would cause the least amount of pain and suffering for their daughter.

Their first decision as parents was one that most of the legislators in this state (or anyone who has not been in their shoes) could not even comprehend.

In South Carolina, after 20 weeks an abortion is not what people envision. Instead, a whole child is delivered naturally to parents who are already devastated and only want to make the decision they feel, after consulting with their physician, is the right way for them to handle the situation and show mercy to their child.

I urge legislators to please focus their efforts elsewhere and don't make a difficult time even more unbearable by taking away this merciful option.

Molly Hamilton

Treasury Bend Drive

James Island

Cut the wait

I go to the airport terminal frequently for business. I know that there will be problems during construction. But I don't understand why the baggage cannot be divided equally between the two operating carousels. The last time I observed the baggage claim area, people from three flights were crowded around one carousel. No bags were coming from the unused one.

An announcement was made stating that after the first flight cleared, another flight would be in the same crowded area. There was nothing wrong with the empty carousel.

Finally, there was a corrected announcement and we were told bags would come up on the other carousel.

Fifty people were making a mad dash.

It was total chaos. This happens frequently and should be fixed.

Paul Krechman

Jasmine Court

Summerville

Loaded for trouble

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne Lapierre's response after Newtown was to say that the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Putting aside the merits of such an argument, this position begs the question: How do you identify who the bad guys are with a gun?

Georgia's Legislature recently passed laws prohibiting record keeping of gun purchases and data bases, removing fingerprinting from license records, making it illegal to ban guns from public housing, etc. So any attempt to identify a bad guy with a gun is now becoming more difficult, indeed near impossible.

As to good guys with guns, what if they miss the targeted bad guy, accidentally shooting innocent bystanders? More sophisticated assault weapons require acquired skills. Professional snipers vouch as to how hard it is to perfect their craft.

At the federal level, the Supreme Court acknowledged the right to have a gun in your home for defense purposes, but equally implied that there should be restrictions to access by felons, and to gun-carrying in sensitive places.

The vast majority of citizens, and many members of the NRA agree to the rational need for gun registration and other sensible precautionary measures.

This is not about eliminating Second Amendment rights. Having guns on every hip, regardless, won't level the killing field. Mixing guns in bars with alcohol, just like driving, is a violent toxic recipe for unintended consequences.

Shooting someone for throwing popcorn in a movie theatre, killing kids for playing music too loud is not self-defense or responsible use of a weapon. It is an insane lack of self-control, and certainly not the action of a good guy with a gun. But who is to know?

David J. Waldron

Galera Lane

Mount Pleasant

Legislative excess

It is sometimes difficult to live in this beautiful city that I have chosen as my home. Our state's politics can be embarrassing and repressive.

I was fortunate to see the poignant and beautiful off- Broadway cast production of "Fun Home" recently at the Memminger Auditorium.

I find it scary and absurd that our legislators are trying to dictate curriculum for College of Charleston students.

Attending college exposes students to different ideas and different ways of thinking. It opens up a larger world where anything is possible. Please don't allow people like Sen. Larry Grooms to prevent our children from being a part of this larger and very real world.

Randi Serrins

Rutledge Avenue

Charleston

Bad make-up call

Last week, the Charleston County School Board voted to make June 6 a school make-up day for one of the days missed due to the ice storms.

Previously, the students were scheduled to get out of school on June 5 and June 6 was designated as a teacher work day.

Don't get me wrong, if there is any educational value in having a make-up day for the students, I'm in favor of it.

Unfortunately, there will be no educational value for students to attend school on June 6. Before that day arrives, testing will be completed, books packed away and graduations completed. If the school board believes any teaching will actually be done on June 6, they are kidding themselves.

Charleston County will incur wasted expenses by running buses, feeding the students and utilizing extra electricity to open and cool the schools.

Please contact your school board members and ask them to reconsider enforcing this make-up day.

Otherwise June 6 will become the most costly day for baby-sitting sponsored by the Charleston County School Board.

Danny Newton

Bent Tree Lane

Mount Pleasant